Weed Eater Won’t Start? Why + Fixes that Work

A weed eater won’t start for a number of issues in its engine. A thorough inspection can help in pointing out the exact problem. Let us look at reasons why a weed eater is not starting and how to fix them.

Issues in the fuel system, spark plugs, clogged air filter and a dirty carburetor are main reasons why a gas weed eater won’t start. Moisture, battery and electrical problems on the other hand points to why an electric string trimmer is not powering on.

Whether gas or electric weed eater, proper care and maintenance is extremely important to the proper functioning of the machine. It not only keep your string trimmer ready whenever you want to cut weeds or edge your driveways, walkways and lawns, but also increase its engine’s life.

CAUTION: Exercise safety when servicing or repairing a weed eater. Completely power off the machine and disconnect the spark plug wire. You may also want to ensure that the fuel tank is empty when fixing a gas weed eater.

Why a Weed Eater Won’t Start

Your weed eater is not starting due to one or several of the following reasons.

  • Issues with fuel
  • Ignition related issues
  • Dirty carburetor
  • Clogged air filter
  • Moisture problems
  • Electrical problem

Weed Eater Not Starting + Fixes that Work

Let’s delve deeper into the issues and how to fix them.

A weed eater won’t start if the fuel is running low. Gasoline is what the engine burns to provide the required power for the running of the string trimmer. If you have fuel in the tank, there are also chances that it has gone bad. Gasoline can go stale when stored for 30 or more days.

If you added fuel without mixing with engine oil in the required ratio, then you may have more oil than fuel in the mixture or vice-versa which is likely to impair how the engine start and run. It is also a problem if you used incorrect gas or engine oil.

How to fix fuel related issues

  1. Check the tank to ensure that there is some substantial amount of fuel. If the tank is almost empty, then you have to top it up and start the engine.
  2. If you have been storing your weed eater for more than one month and you did not stabilize the fuel, then you have to drain the gas and add a fresh one.
  3. Mix gas and oil in the right ratio as recommended in the owner’s manual
  4. Use 2-cycle oil and gasoline grade recommended for your weed eater model

Spark plugs are very important part of engine ignition system. The device convert electric current into a spark required for ignition and combustion of air-fuel mixture. Fouled or spark plug won’t deliver an ignition. Similar to damaged spark plugs occasioned by engine overheating.

How to fix spark plug issues

  1. Spark plug fouled with oil or gasoline should be cleaned using a wire brush and a spark plug cleaner. This also applies to dirty spark plugs that are sooty or brownish in appearance.
  2. A spark plug with melted electrodes, or white deposits on the insulator tip should be replaced

Dirty Carburetor Problem

A carburetor serves a very important role on the engine. It is responsible for mixing air and fuel before the mixture enters the engine for combustion. A weed eater won’t start if there is any serious problem in the carburetor. Clogging is one of the issues that affect a carburetor

Engine overheating, backfiring, overheating is a sign that the carburetor need cleaning. If you don’t take action, then soon you will not be able to start your machine.

How to solve the carburetor problem

Carburetor should be cleaned to remove any clogs in its chambers. This should be done using a recommended carburetor cleaner. When cleaning, check if there is any part that need replacement. Obviously, you need to install a new gasket before installing back the carburetor.

The process of cleaning a carburetor is quite simple since you doesn’t need special tools or equipment. You simply need to remove the filter cover and unscrew the carburetor from the engine. Unscrewing few nuts or screws should lead you to the carburetor innards.

Clogged Air Filter

Air is usually needed in the engine for proper burning of the fuel. Air has to go through a filter for removal of dirt and debris before it enters the carburetor to be mixed with fuel. Overtime, air filters get clogged as a result of prolonged use without cleaning.

Dirt can block flow of air into the engine and for this reason, you may have problem starting your weed eater. Signs that you need to clean air filter include; strange noise from the engine, reduction in power, strong fuel smell and when the filters visibly appears dirty.

How to fix air filter problems

Cleaning of the air filter is a direct solution to the problem. Unscrew and wash the air filter using mild soap and clean water. Pat it dry using paper towels, apply little oil on it and refit on the engine. If this was what makes your weed eater not to start, then it should start right away after fitting it back.

Moisture problems

Although designed for outdoor use, a weed eater can get wet when rained on or when flooded with water. If you left your weed eater outdoor in the rain or overnight and it’s not starting, then excess moisture or water has mixed with sensitive part such as oil, gasoline and spark plugs.

Water or excess moisture will cause rust or corrosion in the fuel line, on spark plugs and on other exposed metal parts. Even if your machine looks like it’s working well, this may not take long before you experience issues.

How to Fix

Water contaminated oil has to be drained from the tank and a fresh one be added. Before starting the engine again, corroded parts including the carburetor and spark plugs has to be cleaned. If that helps then know that a weed eater should be stored in a clean dry place after use, preferably in a shed or garage.

Electrical problems

If you are operating a battery powered weed eater, loss of charge or a damaged electrical component in the machine will not allow it to start. This is the same problem if the battery is dead. Battery may lose charge after a long storage or when expired.

How to Fix

Try to recharge the battery and start the machine. If it’s not working, then you need to have it inspected by an expert. If it’s an electric corded model, try to check if you have power in the electric outlet or if the cable is not firmly plugged. If nothing works, then there is need to have it inspected.

Weed Eater Care and Maintenance Tips

While adhering to the manufacturer’s directions in the owner’s manual, the following are helpful maintenance practices for a weed eater:

  • Always clean the exterior parts after using your string trimmer. A wash with water and mild detergent will clean off any grease, dirt and debris.
  • Clean or replace air filter as directed in the user manual. This should be done using water and a mild detergent. Replacing it after 90 days or earlier depending on wear and tear.
  • Regularly inspect and clean the spark plug. Replace the spark plug if damaged or when having problem starting your weed eater.
  • When storing for long, drain the fuel and add a fresh stabilized gasoline and run the engine for few minutes. This drives the stabilized fuel into the entire fuel system to prevent corrosion.
  • Always mix oil and gas as directed in the user manual. Consider draining bad oil/fuel from the tank before adding a fresh one.
  • Replace the string trimmer line regularly especially when the spool is brittle or damaged
  • Store the weed eater in a clean dry place like in a garage or shed, preferably hanged higher off the ground.

Final Thought

Weed eaters are helpful machines for keeping yards clean and tidy. Cleaning and replacing the parts, changing the oil and proper storage are all essential requirements of any weed eater maintenance routine. Lack or inadequate of it will lead to issues like difficulty starting the engine, loss of power, fuel inefficiency and frequent breakdowns.

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